Why get tested? Iron, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiency are characteristic symptoms of anemia. A deficiency of folate is harmful during pregnancy. What is being tested? Folate is different from folic acid. A folic acid is a synthetic form of folate. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 and is more healthy than folic acid. Folate quickly absorbs in the body by readily converting into an active form of vitamin B9 inside the gut, and it is utilized for several metabolic purposes. Preparation needed? It is required to not consume any liquid or food for 6 to 8 hours before having the folate blood test. The most feasible option for having the folate test is to fast during the night and get the test in the morning. Fasting required? Yes
Why get tested? FSH test helps determine the reasons for infertility and it is used for diagnosing ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome in women. It also helps to know the reasons for delayed or early puberty in children. What is being tested? The follicle-stimulating hormone helps with the development of ovarian follicles. These follicles synthesize progesterone and estrogen in ovaries. LH and FSH hormones often work in conjunction with each other, and that is why doctors prescribe LH and FSH tests together, along with the estradiol and testosterone tests. Preparation needed? No Fasting required? No
Why get tested? The HbA1c test measures the quantity of glucose attached to the hemoglobin molecule in the blood. Hemoglobin is a component of red blood cells (RBCs) and glucose molecules are also attached to it. This test is recommended for patients who have recognizable symptoms of diabetes. It provides a reasonable measure of the extent of control of diabetes. A blood glucose test can diagnose type 1 diabetes, the hemoglobin a1c lab test can validate the results of the type 1 diabetes diagnostic test. High cholesterol increases HbA1c levels. What is being tested? HbA1c stands for hemoglobin A1c. Hemoglobin molecules present in the blood transport oxygenated blood across the body. Preparation needed? No Fasting required? No
Why get tested? Different viruses cause hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections and they are harmful to liver health. Hepatitis infections can also be asymptomatic so hepatitis B and C tests are a frequent method for diagnosis. Children and infants are more prone to developing long-lasting hepatitis B infections. Hep B and C testing uses blood samples and also provides information about whether the infection is chronic or acute. Moreover, hepatitis B and C tests also determine the state of immunity of an individual against these infections. Hepatitis B and C tests are often prescribed to pregnant women as these infections may transfer to the unborn child. What is being tested? Hepatitis B and C are contagious viral infections that affect the liver. Hepatitis B is generally more contagious and virulent than hepatitis C infection. The more prevalent infection is also hepatitis B and it leads to more liver cancer cases than hepatitis C. More complications of the liver also occur in individuals with hepatitis B compared to those having other types of hepatitis infections. The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes hepatitis C infection. The main cause of hepatitis C is sharing of equipment and needles and other drug-injecting equipment. Hepatitis C infection becomes a chronic infection for more than half of the patients. Long-term hepatitis C can cause chronic health problems such as liver cancer and cirrhosis. Who should get hepatitis B and C Tests? In addition to people having signs of hepatitis infection, the following individuals must also get Hep B and C testing: Unvaccinated adults Healthcare workers who treat hepatitis patients Pregnant women must get hepatitis tests as these infections can pass on to the infant during delivery Healthcare practitioners prescribe hepatitis B screening for individuals having specific medical conditions treated through immunosuppressive medications. These treatments can make dormant hepatitis B active again. Moreover, individuals with inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis need to get hepatitis B tests before taking immunosuppressive medications. Hepatitis C testing is also necessary for the following individuals: Those having HIV infection Those who have had abnormal results from blood tests for liver enzymes Liver disease patients Pregnant women having symptoms of HCV infection Users of intravenous drugs People with long-term dialysis treatment Preparation needed? A specific preparation is not required before getting the hepatitis B and C tests. Fasting required? No
Why get tested? Blood culture is used for identifying blood infections and their reasons. These infections are mainly caused by fungi, viruses, yeasts, or bacteria. So, the purpose of blood culture is to find harmful microorganisms in the blood. Generally, a blood culture is carried out before starting antimicrobial therapy, or soon after a fever. The purpose of antimicrobial therapy is to kill harmful microorganisms, such as protozoans, fungi, or bacteria. Therefore, it is essential to identify the agent that causes the infection to get a relevant antimicrobial therapy. It is frequently prescribed to patients having leukocytosis, chills, septic shock, or fever. The patients who suspect endocarditis are also prescribed a blood culture test. What is being tested? A blood culture test uses multiple samples of blood from several veins. This increases the possibility of identifying a fungus or bacteria, present in a small number too. Moreover, the blood culture test helps to detect bacteria that get into the blood intermittently. It may take time to grow certain microorganisms in the nutrient media for the blood culture test, before identifying and detecting them. Preparation needed? No, but tell the doctor about the medicines you take as certain drugs can affect the results of the blood culture test. Fasting required? No
Why get tested? A hepatic panel checks the functioning of the liver. The liver is involved in the synthesis, metabolism, and excretion of several compounds such as bilirubin, albumin, total protein, and enzymes. A common sign of liver problems is stool containing blood What is being tested? The hepatic panel measures the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and bilirubin levels. Liver function blood tests take place with the physical examination in which the physician checks if there is any pain, tenderness, or swelling of the liver. The doctor also checks for any yellow discoloration of the skin, and eyes as these are the main signs of liver problems. Preparation needed? No Fasting required? The results of the hepatic panel are more accurate when it is performed after fasting.
Why get tested? Cortisol test measures the stress hormone called cortisol in blood specimens. Excess cortisol hormone is a main indicator of stress as this hormone is synthesized in response to stressful conditions. Cortisol hormone has many significant functions, for instance, it helps to maintain blood pressure, and in regulating the response of the immune system. Reduced cortisol levels can cause inflammation. High cortisol is harmful to the health of the body, and it may cause Cushing syndrome. Inflammation and stress increase cortisol so the cortisol total test helps in the diagnosis of certain diseases. High cortisol levels indicate medical problems with the adrenal glands or the pituitary glands. Benign or noncancerous pituitary gland tumors can cause excess release of cortisol. The cortisol levels test is specifically used in the diagnosis of Addison disease, and Cushing syndrome. Cortisol is also called the stress hormone as it is released to cope with a stressful situation such as intense pain, or post-surgery. In addition to stress management, cortisol serves several other important functions in the body, such as in the metabolism of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins. Low cortisol level is also a medical problem as cortisol is essential for metabolism and several other functions in the body. What is being tested? Only a small fraction of cortisol is free, while most of it is attached to a protein. Free cortisol is present in the saliva, and urine. The cortisol levels test checks for the cortisol hormone in the urine, saliva, or blood sample. The cortisol hormone has several more functions, in addition to the regulation of stress. Cortisol decreases inflammation and regulates the sugar level in the blood, metabolism, and the formulation of memory. It also controls blood pressure by regulating the balance of water and salt. Preparation needed? No, the cortisol levels change throughout the day but generally, they are the highest in the morning. So, the doctors generally request this test to be done in the morning. Fasting required? No